Click on scratch tracks?

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zvxc
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Click on scratch tracks?

Post by zvxc » Sun May 01, 2016 7:08 am

I'm just starting to record full bands and am curious, do most of you record scratch tracks to clicks? If not, how do you account/compensate for sections without drums keeping time for the other instruments?

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Drone
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Post by Drone » Sun May 01, 2016 7:19 am

How do the other musicians normally cope with the sections without drums?

Normally even in the sections without drums, I find the drummer will give a chk in time, if that's what they normally do, have them do that, you can always mute it in the final mix.
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Post by vvv » Sun May 01, 2016 8:01 am

Some metronomes can flash a light, if necessary.

In the past, with a drummer with counting issues, I stood before him and counted with my fingers.

Or, tell 'em to dance it out.
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Post by zvxc » Sun May 01, 2016 10:59 am

Drone wrote:How do the other musicians normally cope with the sections without drums?
Normally, the band nails the drum-less sections, however, on overdubs, not so much. Like I said, I'm new to full bands, and the band is great without a click but I didn't know if there was something I could do better or if the guitarists aren't as sharp as I initially believed them to be.

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Post by drumsound » Sun May 01, 2016 12:34 pm

Sometimes I have the drummer lightly play the hihat, but often something is playing through the section without the drums, so I see how it goes. If its a rhythm guitar, and its played solidly, its often fine. Sometimes I'll set up a click just for the one song that has a section like that.

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Post by kslight » Sun May 01, 2016 4:16 pm

More often than not, they get a click track. If they are doing fancy tempo changes and have some kind of weird dynamic going on, maybe not. But if the general expectation is to be fairly consistent then I think it is a good practice. They still aren't going to be dead on time so I don't feel like you totally kill the vibe that way.

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Post by Drone » Mon May 02, 2016 5:37 am

What are they playing to in the overdubs?
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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Click on scratch tracks?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon May 02, 2016 8:34 am

zvxc wrote:I'm just starting to record full bands and am curious, do most of you record scratch tracks to clicks? If not, how do you account/compensate for sections without drums keeping time for the other instruments?
Some rules to live by:

1.- NEVER record ANYTHING that is not intended to be released. If these are "rehearsals" then erase them after the band has listened to them for learning purposes.

2.- There is NO SUCH THING as a demo recording. not anymore, and not for over a decade. No such thing.

3.- Only record the band to a click IF THEY ARE ALREADY PLAYING TO A CLICK. Otherwise this will create far more stress and problems than fixing any perceived timing issues. MUSIC HAS NO GRID.

Cheers and may you have fun recording these "full bands"...
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Post by Rigsby » Mon May 02, 2016 9:12 am

So you're recording with the band playing but everything but the drums is scratch?

I wouldn't have the drummer keep time with the hat or clicks unless you want to keep them, you'll end up cutting off the decay of the drums and cymbals before the break. I'd track with the drummer playing as usual and record some clicks in the breaks afterwards to keep the overdubs in time.

Like people said, generally not a good idea to introduce a click in the studio to a band who doesn't play with one. A nice trick though is to get a click ready with the tempo of the start of the song and play it out just before the take. It prevents bands from speeding up as the takes go on, which happens easily.
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Re: Click on scratch tracks?

Post by variableD » Mon May 02, 2016 9:23 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:MUSIC HAS NO GRID.
This is an interesting point. According to some Marxist theorists, the strict meter of Western music is the result of the imposition of clock time on workers beginning in the Industrial revolution and intensifying through the 20th century, and played a major role in the commodification of music... modernist composers mostly fought against it, but (arguably) without much success... they mainly produced a sense of timelessness rather than the inner, psychological sense of time they wanted to express. In this book I'm reading now, called "Groove", they argue that heavy use of syncopation is a way of fucking with capitalist/clock time without escaping the system... that it's impossible to break out of the system so it's the only way left of maintaining some individuality within it.

I'm not sure I buy the argument, but it's interesting. And of course, the above is an oversimplification...

Yikes! Sorry if this is a hijack... we can discuss this elsewhere if people are interested.

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Re: Click on scratch tracks?

Post by Drone » Mon May 02, 2016 9:58 am

Nick Sevilla wrote: Some rules to live by:

1.- NEVER record ANYTHING that is not intended to be released. If these are "rehearsals" then erase them after the band has listened to them for learning purposes.
I would argue against this strenuously. I'd say record everything, and then decide if it should be released or not. Sometimes the rehersal take is the best take you'll get.

Of course Nick is a professional, and I'm not :mrgreen:
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Post by floid » Mon May 02, 2016 10:14 am

I've never regretted recording something. There are many many times I have regretted not recording something; the small number of recordings i've permanently erased/ deleted have led to often almost instantaneous regret as well. Everything is potential fodder for future inspiration.
But maybe that's just the hoarder in me.
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Drone
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Post by Drone » Mon May 02, 2016 10:31 am

Yeah, I confess to hoarding as well.

Maybe part of being a professional is knowing what is wheat, and what is chaff?
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Re: Click on scratch tracks?

Post by kslight » Mon May 02, 2016 1:18 pm

Drone wrote:
Nick Sevilla wrote: Some rules to live by:

1.- NEVER record ANYTHING that is not intended to be released. If these are "rehearsals" then erase them after the band has listened to them for learning purposes.
I would argue against this strenuously. I'd say record everything, and then decide if it should be released or not. Sometimes the rehersal take is the best take you'll get.

Of course Nick is a professional, and I'm not :mrgreen:

I would have to agree. Disk space is cheap. Sometimes songs just aren't right in the moment, and their purpose may be realized in the future...with a new player or singer, or maybe rearrangement entirely. I like being able rearrange or destroy certain pieces later on...having songs recorded to a click make this process massively cleaner and easier. I am of course talking about my own material more than others, in this case. But I find hoarding sessions of unreleased songs to be invaluable because I do go back to them eventually. I love some stuff I've done that was unique to a past project, whose scenario I could not conceivably recreate 8 years later...but there may be a cool vibe and a drum loop here and there...etc...

In the case of outside musicians, again disk space is cheap, there is frankly little reason not to keep alternate takes. I may never use them 90% of the time, but it's worth it to have the 10% of the time I do.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue May 03, 2016 7:19 am

To those of you like recording EVERYTHING:

Listen back to ALL OF IT. Caveat Emptor.

LOL.

Then try to decide which is the "good" stuff.

After a few hours / days of this folly, you'll come around.

My personal comping record is 142 takes of lead vocal, FOR ONE SONG. not including backing vocals. I think after that, I have a pretty good idea of just how insane this method really is. Yes, I did get paid hourly for this insanity.

Cheers
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